John D’Arcy, Ireland Director of The Open University said: “Our survey showed that strategies to help remedy this situation are already in place and in the past 12 months, nearly half (43%) of Northern Ireland businesses have introduced training to boost the employees’ skills to meet the organisation’s needs. However, clearly there’s more to do as nearly half (44%) have left a position vacant because they could not find a suitable candidate”.
“The Open University is able to flexibly support the economy and businesses in Northern Ireland, for example, fully funded Open University courses are available at the start of 2022 as part of the Northern Ireland Executive’s Skill Up initiative, target up-skilling and re-skilling opportunities across a variety of priority economic areas.”
The report showed a variety of solutions are being explored by businesses in Northern Ireland:
Based on a survey amongst 1,500 senior organisation leaders and 208 businesses in Northern Ireland, The Business Barometer report is a temperature check on the UK’s business landscape across a multitude of different nations, regions and sectors.
Kirsty McManus Director of the Institute of Directors Northern Ireland said: “A shortage of skills or accessing talent are consistently among the most common concerns raised with us by our members."
“The COVID-19 pandemic and issues related to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol are clearly impacting recruitment, as this survey finds."
“A collective approach between the business community, the education sector and government is required to respond to these challenges and create a joined up skills framework that enables our economy to flourish.”
To read the annual Business Barometer report visit: https://www.open.ac.uk/business/news/open-university-business-barometer